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Proceedings Paper

Diode-pumped alexandrite laser for DIAL and Doppler lidar
Author(s): Jack A. McKay; Thomas D. Wilkerson
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Paper Abstract

The problem of laser selection for spaceflight DIAL or Doppler lidar is considered. Spaceflight lidar requires tens of watts of laser output, and the low efficiency of lasers imposes costly burdens on the spacecraft platform. DIAL requires a tunable laser, and Doppler an ultraviolet laser, so the high efficiency of the Nd:YAG laser is compromised. The alexandrite laser can in principle provide higher systems efficiency for DIAL or Doppler than the Nd:YAG, being intrinsically tunable, and capable of reaching the ultraviolet with frequency doubling. High power 680 nm laser diodes are now available with sufficient power to pump alexandrite to the necessary power levels. A Q-switched laser configuration is modeled to obtain a projection laser efficiency of 13 percent. A more conservative estimate is 3.5 percent, well below the 9 percent achieved with Nd:YAG. Considering the energy savings through intrinsic tunability, frequency doubling to the ultraviolet, and extremely narrow spectral linewidth, a Doppler wind lidar system based on the alexandrite laser would have four to nine times the efficiency of the Nd:YAG alternative.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 October 1997
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3127, Application of Lidar to Current Atmospheric Topics II, (31 October 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.283906
Show Author Affiliations
Jack A. McKay, Remote Sensor Concepts (United States)
Utah State Univ. (United States)
Thomas D. Wilkerson, Utah State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3127:
Application of Lidar to Current Atmospheric Topics II
Arthur J. Sedlacek III; Kenneth W. Fischer, Editor(s)

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